Free shipping on all orders for AU, NZ and US!

Does Stress Cause Acne?

The ESK blog

Does Stress Cause Acne?

22 July 2021

You know it does!

It is a bit of a chicken and egg situation. Or a vicious circle. Or both. Acne is caused by stress. But acne is so stressful! (1)


The hormone culprits.

The brain has multiple complicated responses to stress. One is a higher release of CRH (corticotropin-releasing hormone). It turns out that apart from its other roles, which mainly involve telling your adrenal glands to produce more of the stress hormone, cortisol, CRH affects the skin too. It significantly induces sebum production in your skin, and changes the way many of the inflammatory mediators behave. So you get the double whammy of extra oil and disrupted immune system in your skin! (2) 


Do you pick when you’re stressed?? Stop it!! Picking not only increases the inflammation of the skin and makes the pimples worse, it can contribute to long term scarring! (3) 

Stress stuffs up your lifestyle.

Poor sleep makes acne worse. (4) And binge eating junk food probably won’t help either! (5) 


  • Destress!

One randomised controlled study looked at relaxation and stress reduction techniques for patients with acne. While doing these activities, acne sufferers had a significant improvement in their acne. The bad news? When the relaxation techniques were stopped, the pimples came back! (6)

  • Stop picking!

Easier said than done, I know but trim your nails as short as possible if that’s what it takes!

  • Get enough sleep and improve your diet!

For the same price as helping clear up your skin, you will feel AMAZING!!! 


Our ESK Acne Kits have been specifically curated to provide the best evidence based ingredients to help combat breakouts. Combining hydroxy acids, vitamins A and B3 as well as a non-comedogenic (break-out friendly) sunscreen, it’s perfect for everyday use. The Hydroxy Overnight Mask, with 5% salicylic acid, helps combat inflammation, helps with skin cell turnover, and helps combat acne causing bacteria, it is the perfect addition as a weekly mask!

Hydroxy Cleanser

Hydroxy Cleanser

A soap free, lightly foaming cleanser.

  • Leaves skin feeling clean and soft
  • Doesn't strip natural oils
  • Perfect for normal/oily skin

B Calm

B Calm

Calm sensitive, oily or acne prone skin with this light-weight vitamin B3 moisturising cream that glides on like silk.

  • Improve skin's barrier function
  • Manage the skin's oil production
  • Improve acne and rosacea symptoms. 

Smooth Serum

Smooth Serum

An Alpha Hydroxy Acid exfoliating serum for daily night use.

  • Smoother skin
  • Evens out skin texture
  • Promotes skin cell turnover

Ultimate A+

Ultimate A+

A Vitamin A (Retinal – 0.1%), B3 (Niacinamide – 4%) and AHA (Glycolic Acid – 2%) based night cream. Vitamin A is the ingredient with the strongest anti-ageing evidence and Retinal is the most effective and least irritating form of Vitamin A. 

Hydroxy Overnight Mask

Hydroxy Overnight Mask

Salicylic Acid 5% and Urea 10% based exfoliating and hydrating leave-on night mask, for acne-prone, oily, sun-damaged or sensitive skin.